Savanna Henderson is a junior, two-sport athlete at Fallston High School, who knows field hockey is the sport that is leading her into college.
Henderson also knows which college, having recently committed to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she will play field hockey as well as study.
“I really liked the campus, I just like how it looks and lots of like nature things and the town surrounding it, which is downtown Amherst, is really safe, too, but there’s also a lot of fun things to do,” Henderson said. “When I went to visit the campus, I’m kind of just walking around and I also went to a clinic last year, which I’m glad I did that.”
Selecting UMASS wasn’t just a knee-jerk reaction for Henderson, as she had a number of other schools considering her and she considering them.
“I had a list of schools I was narrowing down. I had other offers as well,” Henderson said. Offers came from Hofstra, Kent State, Towson and Cornell and there was interest from other schools as well.
“I thought it was also a good choice academically because they’re also a really good school,” Henderson said. “I’m not positive, but I’m thinking I want to go into animal science or at least a science field. They have a lot of majors within that,” she said.
“The culture is really nice, I met some of the players through Zoom, text messaging and things like that. They all seem really nice. The coaches, I like their coaching style, personalities, so I think that would be a good choice as well,” Henderson said.
Henderson also plays lacrosse at Fallston, but field hockey is the focus. A midfielder, but Henderson says she can play anywhere on the field. In addition to high school play, Henderson plays club hockey with Hymax Field Hockey Club, which practices at the Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills.
As the student, Henderson says she carries a 4.0, taking numerous AP and honors classes.
The student or the athlete, Henderson, like many, misses the classes and the athletics as a result of COVID-19. She, like many, too, has been fortunate enough to play this Fall. Henderson and several Fallston teammates participate in the High School Fall League, a field hockey league for players from high schools in Harford and Baltimore counties.
“I’m really grateful for them putting that league together. It definitely really helped with the game sense. I can go out and practice all I want, but it’s not going to be like in a game situation,” Henderson said. “It’s nice seeing how much we’ve all improved and working together as a unit during drills, during practice.”
Henderson also knows that there is the chance of a Fall season this coming April. “In the spring, coach will be able to return and provide more structure to practice schedule, so I’m excited for that,” Henderson said. “I love my high school coaches and I miss them a lot. It will be nice to play a lot more Harford County teams, because right now we’re kind of doing mixed Harford County and Baltimore County.”
Henderson still has this junior year and the entire senior year to get through before her days in college up north can get started.
Near or distant future, Henderson plans to have field hockey as part of it. “I would definitely love to stay involved with it as much as I can, because I’m obsessed with the sport. I practice whenever I can, watch film whenever I can,” Henderson said. “If I can either coach or play with a league on like an adult team, I think that would be a lot of fun. Staying involved with it as long as I can is probably the goal.”